During the proposal stage, there are common limitations to assess and to acknowledge during proposal development:
Availability - and quality - of samples or cases for analysis
- Availability for thesis research based on proprietary status or ownership
Key attributes of data - biases in selection or samples that are included
- Can key variables be estimated sufficiently for cost-benefit modeling, or statistical tests?
- Can an unbiased sample be analyzed? Is sample size sufficient for statistical tests?
Unknown time required to collect or analyze data
- Pilot studies recommended to better estimate likely time constraints
- Some types of analyses - such as GIS data - may be time consuming
Limited domain of interference or ability to generalize results
- Are the results relevant just to this context, or are they expected to be applicable to a more general context?
- The context might be a specific time and place: building type, species, cultural group, ecosystem, etc.
Considering your methods and these limitations, what do you expect to achieve?
- Will you be able to test your hypotheses, and if so, what is their significance?
- What kinds of sustainability practices or policies will be advised by your results?
Note that this section:
- Considers conclusions and implications you will cover in the Discussion of your thesis
- Should loop back to your research goals, significance, questions and hypotheses - are these all consistent? If not, you should revise these!